The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rape hush-up deal eludes CPM

Bhatar (Burdwan), April 8: The CPM has failed to hush up a rape committed by the son of an influential party member in Krishnabati village here. It held four rounds of “negotiations” with the 18-year-old victim’s family in 10 days, but to no avail.

Initially, perhaps, the family, too, wanted to hush up the matter, but changed their mind once the girl became pregnant. Police are on the case after her brother filed an FIR on April 2. The accused Bulu, son of Himangshu Biswas, is absconding.

Namita Biswas, the victim’s sister-in-law, said the girl had tried to commit suicide to escape public ostracism. “Sensing trouble, we told others of our predicament. We had wanted that before the word spread that she was pregnant, Bulu should marry her,” she added.

“Police began investigating the case as soon as the FIR alleging rape was filed by the girl’s brother. We have conducted a medical test of the victim and further tests were held at Burdwan Medical College Hospital today. We will arrest the accused and take penal action,” said Burdwan police superintendent B.N. Ramesh, confirming that the girl was pregnant.

The local CPM leadership admitted the rape and indicated that damage-control efforts were underway. “We have entrusted local committee member Sukumar Biswas with the responsibility of solving the problem. We are organisationally weak in the village and several people have meddled in the issue, demanding that the youth be brought before the village forum,” said CPM Bhatar local committee secretary Ramkrishna Sadhu.

Sadhu hinted that the party had decided the youth should marry the pregnant girl and settle the issue, but “outsiders” wanted to subject the CPM member’s family to humiliation and had forced the girl’s family to go to the police.

“Now let the law take its course. But let me assure you that we, as a party, do not condone any crime against women and we want the guilty to be punished,” Sadhu said.

“We are being asked to withdraw the complaint and even the police told us to solve the issue at the village level,” said Bhabes Biswas, the girl’s brother.

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